The Afghan Code

©2007 by Richard S. Crawford; 405 words

Prologue: Judy’s Yarns, 10:51 p.m.

It was late, and Deidre was exhausted. Still, she had to finish cleaning up the yarn store before she could go home; patterns that had been left on the tables needed to be put away, as did the swatches that the knitting class had left behind. Deidre sighed and stooped over to pick up a skein of Peruvian highland wool that had been dropped in front of the bins.

There was a click behind her.

Deidre stood up quickly, nearly knocking her head against the wire baskets, and with reflexes honed by decades of training, grabbed a pair of four millimeter aluminum needles from the display rack. She whirled around.

“Who’s there!” she demanded.

A figure stepped out of the shadows. “It’s me,” it said in a rough male voice.

“Who are you?”

“There is no time for that,” the figure said. “I am merely here for information.”

“What information?” Deidre backed away from the figure. With her right hand, she held the needles in front of her defensively. In her left, she gripped the Peruvian wool tightly.

The figure stepped forward once more. “I need the location of a certain… pattern.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Yes you do. I know you do.”

Deidre saw the flash from the figure’s midsection before she heard the gunfire. Her midsection exploded in agony, and she collapsed to the ground. “What are you doing?”

The figure shushed her. “You’re going to bleed to death. Tell me where the the pattern for the Royal afghan is located, and I’ll summon help.”

Deidre was getting faint and light-headed. Still, she managed to blurt out what she had been trained to say. “In Nancy’s Fabrics on Fifth Street downtown. In the second file cabinet from the left, third drawer down. Behind a false back.”

The figure nodded slowly. “Good. Very good,” he said. “That’s what all the others said. And now, farewell.”

The figure spun around and sped out of the store. Deidre watched him, and knew that she was going to die.

Wait a minute — what all the others had said?

That meant the true location of the Royal afghan was truly gone forever! She had to tell someone. But how? She was going to die soon from the blood loss.

She removed the needles from their packaging and found a loose end on the skein. Furiously, she began to knit.

END (for now…)


I loathed The DaVinci Code. I thought it was pretentious and pedantic, not to mention ludicrously absurd. I think my spin is much better.

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